A Novel

Book - 2019
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A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world's last hope. From the mind of Chuck Wendig comes "a magnum opus . . . a story about survival that's not just about you and me, but all of us, together" ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review).

NOMINATED FOR THE BRAM STOKER AWARD * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post * NPR * The Guardian * Kirkus Reviews * Publishers Weekly * Library Journal * Polygon

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other "shepherds" who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For as the sleepwalking phenomenon awakens terror and violence in America, the real danger may not be the epidemic but the fear of it. With society collapsing all around them--and an ultraviolent militia threatening to exterminate them--the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart--or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

In development for TV by Glen Mazzara, executive producer of The Walking Dead * Look forthe sequel in 2022

"This career-defining epic deserves its inevitable comparisons to Stephen King's The Stand ." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A suspenseful, twisty, satisfying, surprising, thought-provoking epic." --Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away

"A true tour de force." --Erin Morgenstern, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus

"A masterpiece with prose as sharp and heartbreaking as Station Eleven ." --Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M

"A magnum opus . . . It reminded me of Stephen King's The Stand-- but dare I say, this story is even better." --James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crucible

"An inventive, fierce, uncompromising, stay-up-way-past-bedtime masterwork. " --Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World

"An American epic for these times." --Charles Soule, author of The Oracle Year
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780399182105
Characteristics: xii, 782 pages ; 25 cm


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Aug 12, 2020

This was a long book, but it read quickly. It seemed eerily relevant to mid-2020, as well, with its pandemic, pandering politicians, and heavily armed white nationalist militias. It didn't seem as escapist as it might have a year ago.

Jun 15, 2020

Long, but interesting. Kept my attention.

Mar 15, 2020

It takes a good writer to keep the reader involved in a story that covers almost 800 pages. Chuck Wendig succeeds by that criteria. It would take a better writer, or editor to truncate it down to 600 pages, or better 500 pages.

Sitting here in Seattle, the USA's epicenter of the Covid 19 novel corona virus, it was daunting to look around and see the similarites in the story and in the city. The author even talks a bit about the history of corona viruses. Yes, although the fictional virus is a lot scarier and a lot more deadly, there is a step by step mirror of the CDC's real life reaction. The science of a pandemic was very interesting. The bad guys are ripped from the headlines tropes, for sure, but all the characters react in ways that society will probably deteriorate in the real world. It is an apocolyptical novel, so it follows the footsteps of all the good novels by that genre. It only loses points because it rambles a little too long in places.

Jan 17, 2020

This is one of those end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it novels akin to Stephen King's Stand and Robert McCammon's Swan Song, but not with the horror element of Justin Cronin's Passage trilogy. That said, it is unlike all of those also in that there is a heavier dose of social commentary in this tome. Characters when first introduced conjure up stereotypes in the readers mind, but Wendig quickly introduces nuance to them and readers quickly pick those to root for and those to wish a pox on. What may be more scary than anything is that the science behind this apocalypse is well founded. The nefarious culprit is similar to that in Hugh Howey's Silo trilogy and so reflective of the times we live in.

IndyPL_CarriG Jan 11, 2020

This is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in years. And by enjoyable I mean long, and sometimes tense, but one you can't stop reading and more than once sitting straight up and yelling "Wait...whawhaWhat?!?" If you like dystopian apocalyptic novels in the tradition of Stephen King's The Stand - but better - this is the book for you.

This book starts out with a teenage girl, Nessie, who starts sleepwalking for no discernible reason - when her sister Shana tries to stop her she starts shaking uncontrollably and her temperature begins to rise so she is let go. She is soon joined by other "walkers" and Shana is joined by other "shepherds", those who follow their loved ones across the country and try their best to take care of them as they walk, slowly and continuously, without pausing for rest, food, or water, across impassable obstacles and through the heart of danger.
The strange affliction inflames an already divided nation - people sick of today's politics will see a disturbing and hopefully caricatured mirror of our current reality with names changed to protect the guilty of course. Varied and well-drawn characters come into play - people from the CDC, an aging rock star running away from his life, a former policewoman brutalized by violence, an easily manipulated pastor trying his best and utterly failing all the time...while some characters seem a bit one dimensional, the development of others makes up for it.

Trigger warning – there is a male/male rape scene in this novel. It’s graphic and disturbing, as most rape scenes are. Wendig does not shy away from the fact that people can be monsters – however sometimes I think he may write characters a little too black and white when it come to good vs. evil.

Despite its length, Wanderers is a fast and easy read, even with or maybe partly because of the tense nature of the plot. Though it’s not young adult, this would be a great transition book for someone looking to explore more complex fiction – it’s highly readable yet interweaves a lot of webs.

FPL_AdamL Jan 02, 2020

Pandemic! Epic! Geodetic!

Dec 26, 2019

Great basic story that was harmed by the author’s political preaching. Would have been a much more enjoyable book without the blatantly biased and 2 dimensional portrayals of people the author dislikes and disagrees with.

Nov 24, 2019

Interesting but way, way, way too long. In my opinion could have cut about 400 pages...would have been a but better and exciting book.

Oct 27, 2019

In Wanderers, people start leaving their homes and walking across the country in a trance-like state the day after a comet crosses the sky. Are the two events related? No one knows. Shana doesn't care. She just wants her sister back, so she and some of the friends and family of other walkers follow along as they walk, protecting them from scared outsiders. Meanwhile, the CDC is on the case, and a Midwestern preacher uses this opportunity to preach about the end of days, further igniting people's fears.

I feel like it behooves me to warn people that Wendig is an outspoken critic of our current president, and that is reflected in this novel. (There is a presidential election storyline and a large presence of white supremacists that I didn't cover in my synopsis.) That said, I really enjoyed this. I often wished it was a bit shorter, but he packed a lot into it! If your group can get past its length, I think this would make a great book club pick. Just maybe ignore the politics because it's hard to discuss that without making people angry.

The book that I've read that this most reminded me of was The Passage by Justin Cronin because both feature a pandemic and the CDC and skew a little toward violence, and they're long. It also reminded me of The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker because that came out earlier this year and featured a sleeping pandemic and the walkers in Wanderers almost appear to be sleepwalking, but really the similarities are few and far between beyond that. The Road by Cormac McCarthy would probably be a better comparison in that both feature characters traveling great distances, violence, and strong relationships between main characters.

Aug 06, 2019

Exciting, suspenseful lengthy novel. 780 Pages- lots of details bogged down reading. The end is set up for a sequel, I am looking forward to the next book.


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